I am a writer.

This is getting easier to say, ever so slowly. Writing is not a passion or a goal but a compulsion.

A folder of essays from Miss Mattioli’s fifth grade class, Ms. Klein’s first period English, Ms. Scales’s AP Advanced Composition, all the way through my undergrad years hangs neatly between old, alphabetically-ordered, utility bills and my grad school notes. Why have I kept this folder? I had no clue. It simply moved with me wherever and whenever I moved.

Now, I am beginning to understand. When I read a long-forgotten piece I glimpse the stir of emotions within my younger self, along with the wisdom and authority I didn’t know I already possessed. I also see how those who praised me for my writing went largely unnoticed. The “excellent details,” “insightful analysis,” and “You’re a great writer” written in the margins were deflected, perhaps momentarily appreciated but ultimately blocked from landing in my heart.

I set a goal to write one article to submit to a wellness magazine and ended up writing four articles (one specifically for the magazine and three others that show the breadth of my writing topics). The article I wrote specifically for the magazine, entitled “Letter to a Labor and Labor and Delivery Nurse”, was published in the 2014 Fall issue of Pathways to Family Wellness. It reflects the transmutation of my anger and frustration surrounding the state of maternity care in this country into compassion and a call to action.

Since then I have written two more magazine articles, one entitled “How Do I Know It’s Working?” and the other entitled “From Schooling to Unschooling”. In hindsight, the former planted a seed for the latter article to be written.

Do I plan to write a book? (big sigh) For the past decade, nearly a dozen people have urged me to write a book. I’m glad they are so sure that I must do this. (Insert “LOL” here.) I’ve been on this planet long enough to know that the things I consciously resist are often the most invaluable invitations to grow. (sighing, shaking my head, and laughing knowingly yet reluctantly)